Today is St Patrick’s Day, and many will strategically wear the color green or jokingly get pinched. And while this day reminds us of the luck of the Irish and the beautiful land of Ireland, there is so much more to remember about the life of St. Patrick. His inspiring story teaches powerful lessons in humility, forgiveness, and obedience.
At the age of 16, Patrick, an English boy, was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland. He spent years in captivity and during this time, he found Christ and found love in his heart for the Irish people. At the age of 21 he escaped and went back home to England. Soon after, God spoke to Patrick in a dream, and Patrick humbly obeyed. Compelled by love, he willingly returned as a missionary to the place he was forced to go as a slave. His work bore much fruit as he shared the love and redemption of Christ, used the clover to teach about the Trinity, baptized thousands and established priests to care for the new converts.
Though God sent him, his journey wasn’t easy. He was robbed, held captive and lacked legal protection in the land he made his new home. Though challenging, he trusted God and continued serving his former captors. Again and again, he chose to put his faith in God, walk in humility and lovingly forgive the people he had every reason to hate. He committed his life to Christ and followed Him no matter what the cost. God moved in the land because Patrick moved to the land. God saved the people who once enslaved Patrick. His forgiving and loving spirit helped the Irish to find forgiveness and love in Christ. He spent his life spreading the Good News and leaving a legacy which we still celebrate today.
So how should we celebrate this day?
Let’s honor his spirit of faithfulness to the Lord. Let’s imitate the love he had for people and the forgiveness he showed the people who had once enslaved him. Let’s commit our lives to something greater than ourselves and follow Jesus wherever he might lead us. Let’s commit our lives to the cause of Christ.